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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Angry Flier Beats Airline Worker

Police are investigating a passenger attack on an S7 airline employee after a flight from Frankfurt to Moscow was rerouted and then delayed by more than six hours.

Tensions boiled over at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo-2 Airport on Oct. 29 after the S7 flight was rerouted there because of poor weather in Moscow, airport and airline officials said Tuesday.

"No one has filed a complaint about the incident, and we're still trying to locate this employee," Mikhail Geroyev, head of the Pulkovo-2 police precinct, said by telephone.

The incident came to light thanks to a LiveJournal post by a woman who identified herself as a Pulkovo employee on duty at the airport Oct. 29. The blog entry provides a window into the often chaotic world of Russian air travel.

The woman said the 70 passengers on the red-eye Frankfurt-Moscow flight were initially told that they would depart for Moscow's Domodedovo Airport at 2 a.m. But after being offered a complimentary meal, they were told that the plane would only leave at 8 a.m.

"Bad news goes over better on a full stomach," she wrote.

At around 5 a.m., a female passenger began screaming to the other passengers: "I called Moscow. The weather there is fine. They're lying to us. They don't want to let us go home."

So upset were the stranded passengers that they blockaded the gate to prevent Lufthansa passengers from boarding a Pulkovo-Frankfurt flight at 6:30 a.m.

An S7 employee — "a boy in glasses" who had been hired three months earlier — was dispatched to handle the situation, the woman wrote. Things turned ugly when he tried to "politely explain" that they couldn't interrupt the pre-boarding of another airline's flight.

"For these words, the woman who created the initial panic viciously beat up the representative," she wrote. Trying to retreat, he backed into a crowd of angry passengers, and two men began punching and kicking him. He fell and slammed his head on a bench. A male airport employee dragged the S7 employee away before he sustained further injuries.

But the passengers continued blocking the Lufthansa passengers from the gate, forcing them to walk across the runway to board, the blogger wrote.

Pulkovo Airport spokeswoman Olga Antipova confirmed that an incident had taken place involving an S7 employee but said she could give no further details.

Aage D?nhaupt, Lufthansa's director of corporate communications for Europe, said he could not comment because the airline had insufficient information about the incident.

S7 spokesman Igor Volkov said he could not immediately comment.

Attempts to reach the blogger through the e-mail address listed on her LiveJournal blog were unsuccessful.

She wrote that she and her colleagues had not expected trouble when they heard of the rerouted flight. "We thought, 'Frankfurt, well that's not Sharm-el-Sheikh. The people should be civilized,'" she said.

Budget vacations at the Egyptian resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada are immensely popular among Russians. But the typically packed charter flights to the Red Sea resorts are sometimes disrupted by unruly, intoxicated passengers.

Drunken passengers are involved in hundreds of on board incidents each year on Russian airlines. In one incident in July 2004, three male flight attendants got drunk and beat up a passenger who complained about poor service on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to the west Siberian town of Nizhnevartovsk.